Leyla DiCori is one of the top female athletes in the world of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) today. I have had the great pleasure of seeing her crush the 2012 season and it's been an honor for me to get to know her a little better. She was gracious enough to allow me to invade her time and do a 20 questions interview.
What is your occupation?
I'm a lobbyist, meaning I specialize in government relations.
How many OCR's marathons or 5k's have you done in 2012?
3 x 5Km
5 x 10Km
9 x Half-Marathons
1 x Marathon
20 x OCRs
2 x Death Races
How to do you pay for travel costs?
I usually plan my racing season months in advance and budget everything through Excel. I usually take vacations where I know I can race. My moto is will race to travel, will travel to race. :)
Was it you who ran a Spartan Race this year with your mom? How was that experience?
Yes that was me! And we are coming back for more in summer 2013!!! It was probably the best racing moment of my life, to cross that finish line with my 72 y-o mom who decided on a whim she'd race with me. The bonding we shared was incredible. I wrote about in the Spartan Chicked blog and the feedback from people was simply amazing!!! I have a picture of my mom finishing the race at my desk. It's a daily inspiration. If you want to know more about it, then check this link out:http://blog.spartanrace.com/tales-from-the-chicked-johanne-di-cori/
Are the muscle design tights your trademark?
If it has muscle or bones, yeah... I will usually wear them. I love human anatomy!!! We are such incredible machines!
Role Models... who inspires you?
Well my family for sure. My mom and my dad have traveled miles just to see me race. They have always been supportive about my racing endeavours. My brother is also a very big inspiration to me. Both him and I were competitive fencers on the international level and I have always looked up to him.
Married - Single - Other
Your standing at the starting line moments before running Spartan Beast, if you could play any song at that moment to pump you up, what would it be? Gangnam Style! (NOT!!! hahaha!) That's a tough one because I lovvvvve music. I will go with Nero's Doomsday.
How many pairs of shoes do you have?
Are you serious??? If we are talking running shoes, 20 pairs. If we are talking high heels... I'm NOT even going there!
Favorite Superhero and why? WonderWoman - she's my long lost relative. :)
Have you always been fit?
I started fencing at the age of 9. Once an athlete, always an athlete. So yeah! :)
How did you learn to speak four languages?
Well I'm French Canadian to begin with and our two official languages here are English and French. The Italian comes from my father's side (he is from Rome.) The Hebrew comes from going to a Jewish dayschool for a number of years and the German, well - I just wanted to learn it!
Why do you run all these races?
The adrenaline rush Going beyond your limits Getting dirty And seeing all my crazy racer friends - they are like family!
iPhone - Droid - Other
Well everything I own is Mac except for my phone lol... With my type of work, we require a BlackBerry.
You were once a fencer. Do you still fence?
Yes that's right. I put my weapons away at the age of 21. I still have all my gear. I will pick up a weapon once in a while and 'play around' in my living room, but haven't sparred in ages. My brother just did his first competition after being off for 12+ years. I am thinking I will want to give it a shot in 2013 for good fun!
Tell me about the "Macabi Bug"
I see you googled me lol! Well I competed on the international level and some of it has brought me to Israel where the Maccabiah Games are held. It's basically the equivalent of the Olympic Games for Jewish athletes around the world. I wanted to take part in the 2013 games and return as a racer in the 21K discipline but I'd miss too many Spartan Races because the games last 2 weeks. As for the "bug", I was invited at several events to speak of my experience at the games so I always loved to promote them. If I love something and believe in it. I usually spread the gospel.
Favorite Movie? 300 Shawshank Redemption Reservoir Dogs
Where do you see the sport of OCR in 5 years?
Hmmm... Well I'm sure it will only grow. It will be interesting to see what happens once Epic Arena officially starts and the pros compete. We have to remind ourselves that the majority of people who race OCRs do so for fun. We are only a small fraction that do this competitively. We already see how Spartan is trying to get rules in place when it comes to the Elite Heat. Hopefully in 5 years from now we will have some type of league but it's hard to envision because of all the OCRs out there. Having done a good chunk of them, I can say Spartan Races wins hands down so hopefully within 5 years we will have the point system figured out (Just ask as Spartan 300 about that!), and we will have some type of official referrees making sure rules are respected.
Ever throw up from a work out? Nope! :)
Favorite run of 2012?
Three moments: Ottawa Spartan Sprint with my mom. New Jersey Super where I finished 2nd and the Ultra-Beast in Vermont!!! (My parents drove down 4hrs. Didn't say a single word and when I crossed the finish line (12hrs later) my mom and dad were there to greet me. I was in tears!
What does your workout look like?
I focus on different types of cardio: long runs, short runs, elliptical, stairmaster. I will usually put in around 60km to 80km in a week.
I crossfit 6x a week and I try to incorporate bikram yoga once or twice a week.
Other than that, I avoid taking my car as much as possible. If I do groceries, I walk there and then carry everything back home. I call it my grocery WOD!
In the winter I incorporate snowshoeing and x-country skiing.
I usually take one rest day during the week.
If you want to learn more about Leyla, and follow her adventures into 2013, check out her page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SpartanLeylaDiCori?fref=ts
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